your home by the beach in Costa Rica

This little country packs a lot within its borders. With 12 climatic zones, mountains, beaches, jungles, and a bustling metropolitan area in the Central Valley, there is literally something for everyone. 

Read on for great tips on moving to Costa Rica!


While learning Spanish is an excellent idea, you won’t have to speak fluently from Day 1. Particularly in touristy areas, many people speak English. Furthermore, the culture is so warm and welcoming there will nearly always be someone nearby to help.

Best Beach Towns

Drone shot of Langosta beach in Guanacaste

The beaches in Costa Rica are to DIE for! The world-famous Manuel Antonio beach with the national park of the same name is a great place to start. You can literally create a private jungle escape just minutes from the beach. 

Jacó is another popular area and there is more in the way of shopping as well as it offers easier access to the city. To really get away from it all, head down to Dominical. The tiny town is right on the beach, which is a favorite with surfers, and you can live nestled safely in the jungle.

Health Care

Costa Rica has a socialized health care system that you can sign up for and most larger towns have a hospital. There are also numerous private clinics with English-speaking doctors in most towns. You may have to go to San José for specialized care. 

Social health care insurance in Costa Rica

Starting a New Business

There’s a lot of paperwork involved, but, in general, Costa Rica is friendly to foreign business owners. Just make sure to hire a trustworthy lawyer and follow the rules. For example, you can own a business before you get your residency, but you can’t work in it. You must hire local workers for that. 

Buying a Car

Cars are expensive in Costa Rica and the driving is different than you might expect. If you’re going to be going anywhere remote (pretty much everywhere except San Jose) you might want 4-wheel-drive. Take great care with the dealerships and a private sale is usually a better option. Definitely have it inspected by a reputable mechanic first.

Thinking about importing your car from home? Don’t even bother, import taxes in Costa Rica can be quite high, so you’ll end up paying maybe even more than if you were buying your car in the country. So safe yourself a lot of trouble and just take a trip to San Jose and get your car there, always find someone you trust to help you make the deal.


There are bilingual schools in many towns in Costa Rica, but they are usually private and can be expensive. Homeschooling is not legally recognized in Costa Rica, but it is not illegal. Sometimes you can join together with other expat families to help each other out.

Making Your House and Home

Looking for design advice for your new Costa Rican home? Don’t hesitate to reach out, I’m happy to help you customize your own little piece of paradise!

luxury beach villa view

Continue reading Contemporary Tropical Architecture in Costa Rica